Military Resistance

					Military Resistance:   thomasfbarton@earthlink.net   9.28.11   Print it out: color best. Pass it on.


                       Military Resistance 9I18




“Cole Said His Platoon Suffered
Close To 30 Percent Casualties,
  Mostly From Bombs Hidden
    Around Its Patrol Base”
  “The Only Shred Of Sanity That
 Keeps Us Going Out Here Is That I
  Have To Protect His Ass And He
     Has To Protect My Ass”
“They Can Fire At Us All Night If They
Want, As Long As Nobody Gets Hurt”
     “„Thank You For Listening,‟ He Said”
She continued: “His best friend is a triple amp (amputee) and another lost his life,
he had not even been married a year. We kept in touch with his wife and she
plans on being at the homecoming. There are no words that describe what
families go through during a deployment. The days drag on when there is no
phone call and your heart drops when there is an unexpected knock on the door.”

Sep 26, 2011 By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA - Associated Press

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan (AP) —

An American in uniform stands near a landing zone at about 2 a.m., moonlight framing
his features, and talks about dead and maimed men he knows.

His flight out isn‟t until next month, and he is counting the days.

Then he says he will miss Afghanistan.

“It‟s just life or death: the simplicity of it,” said Cpl. Robert Cole of the 1st Battalion, 5th
Marine Regiment, which ends a seven-month deployment in the southern region of
Sangin in October.

“It‟s also kind of nice in some ways because you don‟t have to worry about anything else
in the world.”

The dominant narrative about war in a foreign land says its practitioners yearn for home,
for the families, the comforts, and the luxury of no longer worrying about imminent death
or injury. It applies to young American troops in Afghan combat zones, but it‟s not the
whole truth.

Combat can deliver a sense of urgency, meaning, order and belonging. There is the
adrenaline-fueled elation of a firefight, and the horror of rescuing a comrade wounded by
a bomb on patrol.

It is magnified, instantaneous experience. An existence boiled down to the essentials
mocks the mundane detritus, the quibbles and bill-paying and anonymity, of life back
home.

Building on the costly inroads of a previous unit, the Marine battalion has seen a decline
in Taliban attacks in Sangin, a southern Afghan area where the insurgency battled
British forces to a stalemate for years. Now the troops have more time to build bridges
and sluice gates, and sit cross-legged at meetings with Afghan elders in hopes of
stripping the insurgency of popular support.

Early on, the going was hard.

Cole said his platoon suffered close to 30 percent casualties, mostly from bombs hidden
around its patrol base.
He described how one Marine on patrol triggered a bomb that severed his legs. Another
Marine rushed forward to apply tourniquets, knowing his friend would bleed to death if he
methodically checked, as training dictated, for more boobytraps in his path. The second
Marine started dragging the first toward safety when he set off another bomb, severing
his own legs, according to Cole. But he saved his comrade in the process.

“He didn‟t lose his legs for his country, he lost his legs for his brother,” Cole, of Klamath
Falls, Oregon, said bluntly.

He gestured to another Marine in the dark at the landing zone at Forward Operating
Base Jackson, the battalion‟s headquarters.

“The only shred of sanity that keeps us going out here is that I have to protect his ass
and he has to protect my ass,” said Cole, who is confined to the base after suffering
concussions in two explosions.

Cole, 22, is not bitter. He treasures the fierce loyalty, born of bloodshed. Politics, the
debate about the wisdom of the decade-long U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, the plan
to withdraw international combat forces by the end of 2014, seem irrelevant to young
Marines.

When they talk about friends with amputated limbs under treatment in the United States,
they often stick to the line, “he‟s doing really good right now,” even if they know that isn‟t
true.

“Get some!” is a Marine slogan, reflecting the U.S. military branch‟s traditional taste for
expeditionary action. On the night of Sept. 11, possibly to mark the 10th anniversary of
the terror attacks in the United States, insurgents fired on guard posts at the Jackson
camp. It was harassment, not a major attack. Marines returned fire in great volume, red
tracer rounds plunging into the darkness.

“Watch your sectors!” warned a company captain as some Marines, adrenaline
unleashed, broadened their sweep of fire from defensive berms. After a while, the
shooting subsided.

One Marine was asked: Is it over?

“I have no clue,” he laughed. “They can fire at us all night if they want, as long as nobody
gets hurt.”

At Patrol Base Fulod, about a 15-minute ride in an armored vehicle from the Jackson
camp, Cpl. Ernest Tubbs is something special among his peers. He has discovered
three-dozen hidden bombs on this deployment. A smooth talker who radiates
confidence, he remembered the first time he uncovered an IED, or improvised explosive
device, “heart racing, so many emotions at one time.”

Tubbs, 22, of Parsonsburg, Maryland, leads patrols with a metal detector, potentially the
most dangerous job in the lineup. In a small victory celebration, he smokes a cigarette
whenever he finds an IED; he smoked two in a row after one very hazardous
experience.
He is desperate to return to his wife and newborn son, and become a civilian, but he
won‟t forget what it is like to be a kind of savior, to know men depend on him for their
lives.

“The feeling of when things happen out here, it‟s a feeling that you‟ll never get rid of. But
it‟s a feeling that will always belong to you,” he said. “There‟s no more adrenaline rush
in the world than finding an IED. I‟m going to miss that a bunch.”

For families in the United States, there are no such thrills, only the grind of not knowing.
Tubbs‟ wife, Hannah, gave birth to a boy, Gabe, last month. Her husband‟s oldest
brother cut the umbilical cord. In an e-mail to The Associated Press, she wrote:

“Even when I was still pregnant with him I would tell him that his daddy loves him and
can‟t wait to meet him. I tell him who his daddy is and all about him. Being pregnant for
most of the deployment didn‟t help the emotional part of it all.

“It was hard getting ready for the baby without him. It was even harder to hear about
guys who had been hurt or even killed knowing they did the same job as my son‟s
father.”

She continued: “His best friend is a triple amp (amputee) and another lost his life, he had
not even been married a year. We kept in touch with his wife and she plans on being at
the homecoming. There are no words that describe what families go through during a
deployment. The days drag on when there is no phone call and your heart drops when
there is an unexpected knock on the door.”

Some transitions to home are the hardest of all.

Walking past cornfields on a patrol, 1st Lt. Richard Marcantonio of Corpus Christi,
Texas, talked about a Marine who lost three limbs in a bombing and was transferred to a
military hospital in the United States. One day, his father walked in and handed his
son‟s baby to him as he lay in bed.

According to Marcantonio, the father said something like: “Here‟s your child. I‟m not
going to bring her up, so you better do it.”

And, this story of tough love goes, the Marine is doing just that.

Some who come from rural areas in the United States feel a curious affinity with
Afghanistan and its web of sparsely populated villages and farmland.

Capt. Brian Huysman of Delphos, Ohio — “Good luck finding Delphos on the map,” he
said — sees parallels between the “small town mentality” and rivalries back home and
the jostling for advantage among local leaders in southern Afghan settlements.

“It‟s very eerie,” said Huysman, Weapons Company commander for the battalion.

When these men are retired veterans, many will look back on Afghanistan as a place of
loss, but also a place that made them better than they were, whether the U.S. military
succeeds in its long-term goals or not. The cult of sacrifice finds expression in a shrine
to the missing in action of past wars in the dining hall at Camp Leatherneck, the main
Marine base in southern Afghanistan.

There, an empty chair sits in front of a table laid with white cloth and a place setting for
one. On the bread plate, a notice says, a slice of lemon symbolizes their “bitter fate,” and
salt stands for families‟ tears. There are dog tags and an inverted drinking glass.

Cole, the corporal at the landing zone, said that in his time in Sangin, he had seen
Taliban fighters only once, in a treeline hundreds of yards (meters) away, too far to fire
on them accurately.

Marines called for an air strike, but it was denied because there were children in the
area. International forces have “rules of engagement” designed to avoid civilian
casualties.

As Cole talked, the dark mass of an Osprey aircraft rumbled inward, its lights off to make
it less of a target for insurgents. The back ramp was open, a tethered gunner at the
edge with a mounted machine gun.

Dust and wind swirled, tossed up by churning rotors.

The courteous corporal pulled a departing passenger into a half-embrace.

“Thank you for listening,” he said.




              AFGHANISTAN WAR REPORTS

   Foreign Occupation “Servicemember”
       Killed Somewhere Or Other In
                Afghanistan:
        Nationality Not Announced
September 28, 2011 AP

A foreign servicemember died following an insurgent attack in Wardak province located
in eastern Afghanistan today.
       Soldier From Birmingham Killed In
       Afghanistan Wanted To Serve His
                    Country
September 19, 2011 By Kent Faulk -- The Birmingham News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A soldier from Birmingham, killed from gunfire in Afghanistan
on Saturday, was described by a high school friend as a man with a sense of humor who
wanted to serve his country.

Staff Sgt. Michael W. Hosey, 27, died in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, of injuries
suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire, according to a
Department of Defense statement. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special
Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. No other soldiers were injured or
killed in that attack, a military spokeswoman said.

Hosey has been posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Purple Heart
and the Bronze Star Medal, according to the military‟s statement.

One former high school classmate said Hosey had a sense of humor.

“No matter how the class was going he could put a smile on your face,” said Erin
Kinnaird, who graduated with Hosey from Clay-Chalkville High School in 2001.

On days students were allowed to dress up in costumes in high school, Hosey would
wear military uniforms, Kinnaird said. “He had always wanted to be in the military,” she
said.

Hosey, a 27-year-old native of Alabama, is survived by his mother Condi Hosey and
father Michael Fred Hosey, according to the military‟s statement.

Hosey‟s parents declined comment today.

After graduating high school Hosey joined the Army in 2001 and became a
communications intelligence specialist. After attending basic training at Fort Jackson,
South Carolina, and then the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center at
the Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, California, He attended Advanced Individual
Training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo Texas.

Hosey‟s first duty assignment was with Company B, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion,
111th MI Brigade where he instructed officers in the MI Officer Basic Course and Officer
Training Corps, in the proper deployment of a Signal Intelligence Company on the
battlefield. He also worked with US Border Patrol in the emplacement of Remote
Battlefield Sensor System for joint task forces.

In 2003, he was assigned to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he served as a
communications intelligence specialist. In 2005, Hosey was assigned to Fort Lewis,
Washington.
Hosey‟s military education included the Defense Language Institute-Korean, Warrior
Leader Course, Airborne School, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape School, and the
Advanced Leader Course.

His other awards and decorations included the Army Commendation Medal with two oak
leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Good
Conduct Medal with bronze clasp (two Loops), the National Defense Service Medal, the
Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with Campaign Star), the Iraq Campaign Medal (with
Campaign Star), the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Non-commissioned Officer
Professional Development Ribbon with the Numeral 2, the Army Service Ribbon, and the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal.



While U.S. Troops Die:
       Amnesty Program To Lure
        Fighters Away From The
       Taliban Does Nothing But
         Enrich Corrupt Afghan
              Politicians:
    “Little More Than „A Wheeze To
      Channel Lots Of Money To
             Karzai‟s Allies‟”
 “The Larger Part Of The $139 Million
      Will Simply Disappear Into
  Afghanistan‟s Patronage Machine”
    “PTS Enriched Venal Officials, Did
   Nothing For Wannabe Defectors From
  The Taliban And Hardened Perceptions
     Of The Government As Corrupt”
“Other fighters — our former comrades — have called us to ask if the
government‟s providing any resources,” Nikzuman explains. “And if so, they say
they‟ll come over. We say: „Don‟t bother.‟ I get a call once or twice a month like
that, from commanders of a hundred or 200 men.”

Sept. 27, 2011 By Julius Cavendish, Khost and Kabul, Time Magazine [Excerpts]

About 18 months ago, Haji Ismail, an elderly government official in southeastern
Afghanistan, received a letter from an old friend.

“Whether this peace process, which our elders are discussing with the government,
succeeds or fails,” it read, “I want to come in.”

It was signed, with a blue-ink ballpoint pen, by Maulawi Sangeen — one of the Taliban‟s
most dangerous battlefield captains and a deputy to veteran jihadist Jalaluddin Haqqani,
whose network is deemed America‟s most virulent enemy in Afghanistan.

Not only was the erstwhile implacable jihadist seeking peace terms; he was also, if
Ismail understood correctly, offering the release of the only U.S. soldier in Taliban
captivity as part of the deal. “We have something that belongs to the Americans,” the
letter said. “It is safe. And we will talk about this as well.”

The letter was written on a Taliban letterhead and was drafted in a faltering Pashto
script. It was political dynamite.

The only problem with Ismail‟s story is that it was also, according to analysts, an
elaborate lie — part of “a long tradition” in Afghanistan of political fakery.

“I don‟t see how you can reach any conclusion other than it‟s a wheeze by Ismail to
persuade someone to give him more money,” says Michael Semple, an academic and
leading expert on the Taliban.

Ismail insists the letter is genuine. “I don‟t lie,” he told TIME. “If I‟m lying, then punish me,
stone me.”

But others analysts concur with Semple, arguing that the last thing any senior insurgent
trying to defect would do is provide signed evidence of his intentions to a garrulous local
official.

Instead, they reckon Ismail was trying to net a share of the $139 million committed
by donors to the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) — his
letter materialized shortly after donors announced their pledges at the 2010
London conference.

APRP is a high-profile scheme aimed at wooing Taliban insurgents back into the
fold. Many observers fear, however, that rather than supporting ex-combatants
and their host communities with material help, the larger part of the $139 million
will simply disappear into Afghanistan‟s patronage machine.
Concerns over the state of reconciliation efforts have been amplified by last week‟s
assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the government‟s designated negotiator with the
Taliban.

Although his High Peace Council has recorded little tangible progress either in
talks with the Taliban leadership or in grassroots efforts to reintegrate the
movement‟s rank-and-file fighters, the running costs for its joint secretariat stood
at $2.3 million as of June 30, while a further $1.5 million had gone to APRP cells
within government ministries.

By contrast, spending on reintegrating former Taliban fighters stood at $150,000.

To some minds, the APRP itself is little more than “a wheeze to channel lots of money to
Karzai‟s allies,” as Semple puts it.

“And if you‟re looking for more evidence of this, your Haji Ismail is a pretty good example
... The purpose of this program is not to provide assistance to those who need to have
another way of life, another option, another choice. It‟s a sop to the donors (and) a way
of rewarding all those people who are already on the inside and are well connected to
those in power — and that‟s the way the serious Taliban view it.”

Cynical as that may sound, it‟s worth thinking back to previous peace initiatives in
Afghanistan.

Maulawi Mohammad Sardar Zadran, a former commander who went over to the
government in the early days of the Karzai regime, helped run APRP‟s predecessor,
known as PTS.

One day, he told TIME, “I received a call from the head of the PTS in Kabul who
told me to bring in 30 to 35 Taliban. I said: „I can‟t, it takes time, it‟s not so easy.‟
They told me to bring in shopkeepers with beards. I told them that was fraudulent
(so) they threatened me, said they would cut my salary. (Then) they dismissed
me.”

Across the country, PTS enriched venal officials, did nothing for wannabe
defectors from the Taliban and hardened perceptions of the government as
corrupt, feckless and insincere.

As one Afghan official put it: “PTS was a fiasco.”

“Money given by the international community is not getting through,” says
Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

In gloomy guesthouses across Afghanistan, you can find the collateral damage of this
slow, deliberate approach.

One afternoon in the southeastern city of Khost, TIME stumbles on three brothers
pining for their days with the Pakistani Taliban.

“Life was good,” says Nikzuman, a slight 22-year-old with high cheekbones, an
engaging smile and wistfulness beyond his years. “Among the militants we had
pickups, weapons, enough money, everything ... But when we reintegrated with
the Afghan government, we lost everything.”

The brothers can‟t return to the property their parents abandoned during the Soviet
invasion of the 1980s for fear their neighbors will sell them out to the Taliban — who
have threatened to kill them. So, jobless and outcast, they live on the graces of a family
friend.

“Other fighters — our former comrades — have called us to ask if the
government‟s providing any resources,” Nikzuman explains. “And if so, they say
they‟ll come over. We say: „Don‟t bother.‟ I get a call once or twice a month like
that, from commanders of a hundred or 200 men.”

He pulls his woolen cloak tighter and leans back into the gathering shadows, settling in
for the night.



          IF YOU DON‟T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
                END THE OCCUPATIONS

  THIS ENVIRONMENT IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
                 HEALTH;
              ALL HOME, NOW




Soldiers with the U.S. Army‟s Bravo Company of the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade
Combat Team, 2nd Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment, based in Schofield Barracks,
Hawaii, fire a 120mm high explosive mortar round to support an Afghan outpost under
attack by insurgents Sept. 14, 2011 at Combat Outpost Monti in Kunar province,
Afghanistan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)...
  A U.S. soldier adjusts a belt of bullets during a gun battle with the Taliban militants in
   Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday Sept. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)...



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                       http://www.traveling-soldier.org/
Traveling Soldier is the publication of the Military Resistance Organization.

Telling the truth - about the occupations or the criminals running the government
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than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance to Imperial wars and all
other forms of injustice inside the armed forces.

Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties enlisted troops
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We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help organize resistance within the
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                             MILITARY NEWS

     THIS IS HOW OBAMA BRINGS THEM HOME:
              ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 14: The casket of U.S. Army Spc. Douglas J. Green
during a full honors burial service at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Spc. Green, who was from Sterling, Virginia, was killed in Kandahar province in
Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.




                          (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)




                             (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
                  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


“The single largest failure of the anti-war movement at this point
              is the lack of outreach to the troops.”
         Tim Goodrich, Iraq Veterans Against The War



 “The Biggest Loss Is The Loss
     Of The Man I Married”
 “His Body‟s Here, But His Mind Is
       Not Here Anymore”
“I See Glimpses Of Him, But He‟s Not
           Who He Was”
  “They Question Whether They Can
Endure The Potential Strain Of Years, Or
       Even Decades, Of Care”
April Marcum has joined a community of spouses, parents and partners who drop most
everything in their lives to care for injured loved ones returning from war. Photo: Sarah
Beth Glicksteen for The New York Times

[Thanks to Clancy Sigal, who sent this in.]

One of the most frustrating aspects of life now, they say, is the bureaucracy they
face at the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, from
problems with the scheduling of medical appointments to being bounced around
among different branches of the system, forcing them to become navigators and
advocates for their loved ones.

September 27, 2011 By CATRIN EINHORN [Excerpts]

RAY CITY, Ga. — April and Tom Marcum were high school sweethearts who married
after graduation.

For years, she recalls, he was a doting husband who would leave love notes for her to
discover on the computer or in her purse. Now the closest thing to notes that they
exchange are the reminders she set up on his cellphone that direct him to take his
medicine four times a day.

He usually ignores them, and she ends up having to make him do it.

Since Mr. Marcum came back in 2008 from two tours in Iraq with a traumatic brain injury
and post-traumatic stress disorder, his wife has quit her job as a teacher to care for him.

She has watched their life savings drain away.

And she has had to adjust to an entirely new relationship with her husband, who faces a
range of debilitating problems including short-term memory loss and difficulties with
impulse control and anger.
“The biggest loss is the loss of the man I married,” Ms. Marcum said, describing her
husband now as disconnected on the best days, violent on the worst ones. “His body‟s
here, but his mind is not here anymore. I see glimpses of him, but he‟s not who he was.”

Ms. Marcum has joined a growing community of spouses, parents and partners who,
confronted with damaged loved ones returning from war who can no longer do for
themselves, drop most everything in their own lives to care for them.

Jobs, hobbies, friends, even parental obligations to young children fall by the wayside.
Families go through savings and older parents dip into retirement funds.

The new lives take a searing toll.

Many of the caregivers report feeling anxious, depressed or exhausted. They gain
weight and experience health problems. On their now-frequent trips to the pharmacy,
they increasingly have to pick up prescriptions for themselves as well.

While taking comfort that their loved ones came home at all, they question whether they
can endure the potential strain of years, or even decades, of care.

“I‟ve packed my bags, I‟ve called my parents and said I‟m coming home,” said Andrea
Sawyer, whose husband has been suicidal since returning from Iraq with post-traumatic
stress disorder. “But I don‟t. I haven‟t ever physically walked out of the house.”

Those attending to the most severely wounded must help their spouses or adult children
with the most basic daily functions. Others, like Ms. Marcum, act as safety monitors,
keeping loved ones from putting themselves in danger. They drive them to endless
medical appointments and administer complicated medication regimens.

One of the most frustrating aspects of life now, they say, is the bureaucracy they
face at the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, from
problems with the scheduling of medical appointments to being bounced around
among different branches of the system, forcing them to become navigators and
advocates for their loved ones.

A variety of care services are offered to the severely injured. But many family members
do not want their loved ones in nursing homes and find home health services often
unsatisfactory or unavailable.

Despite Ms. Marcum‟s cheerful manner and easy laugh, she has started taking
antidepressants and an anti-anxiety medication when needed. She has developed
hypertension, takes steroids for a bronchial ailment that may be stress related and wears
braces to relieve a jaw problem.

“I just saw all of my dreams kind of vanishing,” she said.

Over the past few years, advocacy organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project
lobbied Congress to enact a law providing direct financial compensation and other
benefits to family caregivers of service members. In 2010 they succeeded, and by mid-
September, the veterans agency had approved 1,222 applications, with average monthly
stipends of $1,600 to $1,800. Caregivers can also receive health insurance and
counseling.

While families express deep gratitude for the help, questions remain about who will
qualify and how compensation is determined, advocates for veterans say.

Furthermore, the law applies only to caregivers of service members injured in the line of
duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, eliminating help for thousands who served in earlier
conflicts.

And the emotional strain is still palpable as families struggle to adjust to what many call
their “new normal.”

In a reversal of the classic situation in which adult children help out ailing parents, a
substantial number of the caregivers of post- Sept. 11 service members are parents
caring for their adult children.

Rosie Babin, 51, was managing an accounting office when a bullet tore through her son
Alan‟s abdomen in 2003.

She and her husband rushed to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and stayed at his
side when Alan, then 22, arrived from Iraq. He lost 90 percent of his stomach and part of
his pancreas.

His kidneys shut down and he had a stroke, leaving him with brain damage. He
eventually underwent more than 70 operations and spent two years in hospitals, his
mother said.

Ms. Babin fought efforts by the military to put her son in a nursing home, insisting that he
go into a rehabilitation facility instead, and then managed to care for him at home.

But since her son‟s injuries, her doctor has put her on blood pressure medication and
sleeping pills. Now, while deeply grateful for her son‟s remarkable recovery — he gets
around in a wheelchair and has regained some speech — she sadly remembers the
days when she looked forward to travel and dance lessons with her husband. Instead,
she helps Alan get in and out of bed, use the bathroom and shower.

“I felt like I went from this high-energy, force-to-be-reckoned-with businesswoman,” she
said, “to a casualty of war. And I was working furiously at not feeling like a victim of
war.”

Research on the caregivers of service members from the post-Sept. 11 era is just
beginning, said Joan M. Griffin, a research investigator with the Minneapolis V.A. Health
Care System who is leading one such study.

(The V.A. estimates that 3,000 families will benefit from the new caregiver program; 92
percent of the caregivers approved so far are women.)

Ms. Griffin‟s research shows that many family members spend more than 40 hours a
week providing care. Half feel that they do not have a choice. “They feel stuck,” Ms.
Griffin said.
For Ms. Marcum, 37 — who has an 18-year marriage and two sons, ages 14 and 11,
with Tom, 36 — there was never a question of leaving. “I‟m his wife and it‟s my job,
whether he‟s hurt or not, to make sure he‟s O.K.,” she said.

When she first asked for a leave of absence from work to care for him, she expected it
would be for just a few weeks, while doctors got to the bottom of the migraines keeping
him in bed for days on end.

When he was up, he often seemed confused and sometimes slurred his speech. After
12 years in the Air Force, where he worked as a weapons specialist, he was suddenly
having trouble taking a phone message or driving home from the base.

Mr. Marcum, who endured several mortar attacks in Iraq, one of which knocked him
unconscious, eventually was given diagnoses of traumatic brain injury and post-
traumatic stress disorder.

“My wife, I would imagine, probably felt as if she was a single parent for a while,” said
Mr. Marcum, who is now medically retired from the Air Force. “She had to raise two
boys. And now at times she probably thinks that she‟s raising three boys,” he added with
a laugh.

Ms. Marcum has found relief at a weekend retreat for military wives in her situation, and
on a private Facebook page where caregivers vent, offer emotional support and swap
practical advice.

Participants say online communities like these are often more supportive than their
extended families, who sometimes retreat in the face of such overwhelming change.

Financially, at least, things are looking up for the Marcum family.

Ms. Marcum was awarded the highest tier of coverage through the veterans agency‟s
new caregiver program, giving her a monthly stipend of $1,837.

Physical, occupational and speech therapy have all helped Mr. Marcum improve, but she
worries that his progress has plateaued.

“We kind of have been in the same spot for a while,” Ms. Marcum said.

As proud as she is of her husband‟s service, Ms. Marcum feels guilty that neither of
them now works, and hopes that one day she will again hold down a job, while
continuing to care for him.

She pictures herself working somewhere relaxed, like a Hallmark store, where she could
chat with people and help them with cards and gifts.

It would be an escape, she said, from the stress at home.
       DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK




                      Troops Invited:
Comments, arguments, articles, and letters from service men
and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Write to Box
126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10025-5657 or email
contact@militaryproject.org: Name, I.D., withheld unless you
request publication. Same address to unsubscribe.


 The U.S. Government Sending
  More People To Prison Who
Have No Idea They Have Broken
           Any Law:
 Man Gets 15 Years In Prison For
 Having One Bullet In A Box In His
           Apartment:
    “What Once Might Have Been
 Considered Simply A Mistake Is Now
 Sometimes Punishable By Jail Time”
    “New Law Can Hold Animal-Rights
   Activists Criminally Responsible For
 Protests That Cause The Target Of Their
  Attention To Be Fearful, Regardless Of
        The Protesters‟ Intentions”
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 By GARY FIELDS And JOHN R. EMSHWILLER, Wall Street
Journal [Excerpts]

For centuries, a bedrock principle of criminal law has held that people must know they
are doing something wrong before they can be found guilty. The concept is known as
mens rea, Latin for a “guilty mind.”

This legal protection is now being eroded as the U.S. federal criminal code dramatically
swells.

In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the
notion of criminal intent.

Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall
afoul of them.

As a result, what once might have been considered simply a mistake is now sometimes
punishable by jail time.

When the police came to Wade Martin‟s home in Sitka, Alaska, in 2003, he says he had
no idea why.

Under an exemption to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, coastal Native Alaskans
such as Mr. Martin are allowed to trap and hunt species that others can‟t. That included
the 10 sea otters he had recently sold for $50 apiece.

Mr. Martin, 50 years old, readily admitted making the sale. “Then, they told me the buyer
wasn‟t a native,” he recalls.

The law requires that animals sold to non-Native Alaskans be converted into handicrafts.
He knew the law, Mr. Martin said, and he had thought the buyer was Native Alaskan.

He pleaded guilty in 2008.
The government didn‟t have to prove he knew his conduct was illegal, his lawyer
told him. They merely had to show he had made the sale.

“I was thinking, damn, my life‟s over,” Mr. Martin says.

Federal magistrate Judge John Roberts gave him two years‟ probation and a $1,000
fine. He told the trapper: “You‟re responsible for the actions that you take.”

Mr. Martin now asks customers to prove their heritage and residency.

“You get real smart after they come to your house and arrest you and make you feel like
Charles Manson,” he says.

The U.S. Attorney‟s office in Alaska didn‟t respond to requests for comment.

Back in 1790, the first federal criminal law passed by Congress listed fewer than
20 federal crimes. Today there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes,
plus thousands more embedded in federal regulations, many of which have been
added to the penal code since the 1970s.

One controversial new law can hold animal-rights activists criminally responsible
for protests that cause the target of their attention to be fearful, regardless of the
protesters‟ intentions.

Congress passed the law in 2006 with only about a half-dozen of the 535 members
voting on it.

Under English common law principles, most U.S. criminal statutes traditionally
required prosecutors not only to prove that defendants committed a bad act, but
also that they also had bad intentions.

In a theft, don‟t merely show that the accused took someone‟s property, but also
show that he or she knew it belonged to someone else.

Over time, lawmakers have devised a sliding scale for different crimes. For instance, a
“willful” violation is among the toughest to prove.

Requiring the government to prove a willful violation is “a big protection for all of
us,” says Andrew Weissmann, a New York attorney who for a time ran the Justice
Department‟s criminal investigation of Enron Corp.

Generally speaking in criminal law, he says, willful means “you have the specific intent to
violate the law.”

A lower threshold, attorneys say, involves proving that someone “knowingly” violated the
law. It can be easier to fall afoul of the law under these terms.

In one case, Gary Hancock of Flagstaff, Ariz., was found guilty in 1999 of violating
a federal law prohibiting people with a misdemeanor domestic violence record
from gun ownership.
At the time of his domestic-violence convictions in the early 1990s, the statute
didn‟t exist — but later it was applied to him.

He hadn‟t been told of the new law, and he still owned guns.

Mr. Hancock was convicted and sentenced to five years‟ probation.

His lawyer, Jane McClellan, says prosecutors “did not have to prove he knew
about the law. They only had to prove that he knew he had guns.”

Upholding the conviction, a federal appellate court said that “the requirement of
„knowing‟ conduct refers to knowledge of possession, rather than knowledge of the legal
consequences of possession.” [And that idiotic argument is simply the justification
for sending anybody and everybody to prison anytime the government wishes to
do so. T]

In 1998, Dane A. Yirkovsky, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man with an extensive criminal
record, was back in school pursuing a high-school diploma and working as a drywall
installer.

While doing some remodeling work, Mr. Yirkovsky found a .22 caliber bullet underneath
a carpet, according to court documents. He put it in a box in his room, the records show.

A few months later, local police found the bullet during a search of his apartment. State
officials didn‟t charge him with wrongdoing, but federal officials contended that
possessing even one bullet violated a federal law prohibiting felons from having firearms.

Mr. Yirkovsky pleaded guilty to having the bullet.

He received a congressionally mandated 15-year prison sentence, which a federal
appeals court upheld but called “an extreme penalty under the facts as presented
to this court.” Mr. Yirkovsky is due to be released in May 2013.

Overall, more than 40% of nonviolent offenses created or amended during two recent
Congresses—the 109th and the 111th, the latter of which ran through last year—had
“weak” mens rea requirements at best, according to a study conducted by the
conservative Heritage Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers.

Earlier this year, Justice Antonin Scalia, in a dissent from a Supreme Court decision
upholding a firearms-related conviction, wrote that Congress “puts forth an ever-
increasing volume” of imprecise criminal laws and criticized lawmakers for passing too
much “fuzzy, leave-the-details-to-be-sorted-out-by-the-courts” legislation.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worry about the weakening of mens rea. “Over my
six years in Congress there have been many times when in discussions with members of
Congress I say, „Look, I know you want to show people how serious you are about
crime, but don‟t put anything on the books that doesn‟t require criminal intent,‟“ says
Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R., Tex.) a former state judge who wants the federal system
reworked.
In a 2009 Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the growth of federal criminal law,
Rep. Bobby Scott (D., Va.)., said that mens rea had long served “an important role
in protecting those who do not intend to commit wrongful or criminal acts from
prosecution and conviction.”

The growing number of federal laws with weakened mens rea safeguards is making the
venerable legal principle that ignorance of the law is no defense a much riskier
proposition for people.

That principle made sense, says University of Virginia law professor Anne Coughlin,
when there were fewer criminal laws, like murder, and most people could be expected to
know them.

But when legislators “criminalize everything under the sun,” Ms. Coughlin says,
it‟s unrealistic to expect citizens to be fully informed about the penal code.”

With reduced intent requirements “suddenly it opens a whole lot of people to
being potential violators.”


                  Guilty Of Freeing A Whale From A Fishing Net

When a humpback whale got tangled in his fishing-boat net in 2008, Robert Eldridge Jr.,
a commercial fisherman, says he had one overriding thought: free it.

He freed the whale, although it swam away with 30 feet of his net still attached.

A few weeks later, he was charged with harassing an endangered species and a marine
mammal.

Under federal law, Mr. Eldridge was supposed to contact authorities who would send
someone trained to rescue the animal. The law is designed to prevent unskilled people
from accidentally injuring or killing a whale while trying to release it.

Mr. Eldridge says he was fully aware of the federal Marine Animal Disentanglement
Hotline for summoning a rescuer.

But “it didn‟t cross my mind to do anything but keep it alive. I thought I was doing the
right thing,” the Massachusetts fisherman said.

There were two federal observers aboard his boat that day, performing routine checks,
who reported the incident, according to court documents. Mr. Eldridge‟s potential
sentence was one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

Mr. Eldridge, 42, pleaded guilty and has a misdemeanor on his record. He was fined
$500 and ordered to write a warning letter to other fishermen to look out for whales.

“I‟m just glad it‟s done,” he said of the case.
Asked for comment, a Justice spokeswoman referred to Mr. Eldridge‟s guilty plea, in
which he admitted knowing the procedure and having the hotline number posted on his
boat at the time of the incident.



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Telling the truth - about the occupations or the criminals running the government
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We hope that you‟ll build a network of active duty organizers.




   “If Pakistan Had Never Allied
   With The United States, Malik
   Surmised, Bombings Such As
       The One That Killed His
    Daughter Might Never Have
             Occurred”
 “The Government Is Siding With
The United States. The People Are
               Not”
  “I Have Read That Americans Are
Peace-Loving. But Their Government
   Has Interfered In Every Country.
                Why?”
 “Majorities View The United States, With
 Its Campaign Of Frequent Drone Strikes
     In Pakistan‟s Tribal Areas, As An
                  Enemy”
September 26 By Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post [Excerpts]

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Muhammad Irfan Malik is a banker, and he relies on numbers
to tell the story of his daughter‟s death.

She was 17 years and 2 months old, a college student who had scored 800 out of 850
on high school graduation exams. On Oct. 20, 2009, she was with classmates in her
university cafeteria when a bomber detonated explosives that launched 46 ball bearings
into her body.

She died 43 days later, leaving her family to suffer incalculable grief.

But when casting blame, Malik turns to an equation that is common here — one that
Pakistani officials often cite to explain why their country remains reluctant to fully
confront Islamist militants despite acute pressure from the United States.

Since 2001, when Islamabad partnered with Washington to combat the Taliban
and al-Qaeda, there have been 335 suicide bombings in Pakistan. Before 2001,
there was one.

If Pakistan had never allied with the United States, Malik surmised, bombings
such as the one that killed his daughter might never have occurred.

“The government is siding with the United States,” Malik said, his eyes damp.
“The people are not.”

“I have become so unsafe that sometimes I think I should have my family leave
Pakistan,” said Hamid Mir, a popular television host, explaining the view of many
Pakistanis.

“Why is that? It is because of the American policies in Pakistan.”
A recent Pew Research Center survey found that a large majority of Pakistanis consider
suicide bombings unjustifiable. But majorities also view the United States, with its
campaign of frequent drone strikes in Pakistan‟s tribal areas, as an enemy.

Among those killed was Amna Batool, 20, an English student and theater enthusiast who
asked her father how she looked before leaving for school that morning.

Syed Zubair Ashraf, 58, next saw her at the hospital, her skull ravaged by what he
describes as “ball bearings and nails and other dirty materials.” Her death four days later
left Ashraf, an editor of an Urdu research journal, without the will to write.

Ashraf has watched in recent years as blast walls and metal detectors sprouted across
Islamabad, a sleepy capital city that once seemed immune from violence.

Now, Ashraf said, it feels besieged by spies, and he cannot help but think that the U.S.
presence in the region is fueling the attacks, not stopping them.

“I have read that Americans are peace-loving. But their government has interfered in
every country. Why?” Ashraf said.

Muhammad Irfan Malik said his family remains “broken” two years after the bombing.

He requested a transfer to a busier bank branch, to help distract him from his grief. His
wife does not discuss Aqsa‟s death at home, nor does she touch her late daughter‟s
belongings.

Their three surviving children wanted to go to a park for the recent Muslim holiday of Eid,
but Malik said such an activity is not safe in present-day Pakistan.

The family applied for compensation from the government, Malik said, but received no
response. He never expected answers from the police.

“We feel that her martyrdom was in vain,” he said of Aqsa. “On the other hand,
where can we go? At whose door can we seek justice?”


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Military Resistance distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been
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the originators. This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research,
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ling away as
Officer London reached for him.

After Mr. Drucker showed the video and asked Officer London to explain where the push
was, the officer responded, ―He put his hands on me, sir.‖ Justice Thomas Farber
intervened and asked Officer London if he thought that ―touching you is pushing you.‖
―Yes, your honor,‖ the officer answered.

Several times in his testimony, Officer London, in a meek voice, repeated profanities that
he said Mr. Harvin had directed at him. They included a curse word emblazoned on the
T-shirt of an alternate juror. Justice Farber scolded the juror for wearing the shirt and
dismissed her.

Officer London, a 17-year police veteran, said that after the encounter at the door,
he told Mr. Harvin he was under arrest for disorderly conduct. The charges were
later dropped.

Mr. Harvin would not obey his commands to stop, Officer London said. When Mr. Harvin
lunged toward him near the elevators in the lobby, Officer London said, he unleashed
Mace and the first blow with his baton. That initial strike did not deter Mr. Harvin, Officer
London said, so he continued to strike. Even with Mr. Harvin down, Officer London, who
was in the Air Force Reserves, said he had to be careful.

―In my military training, if a person is down on the ground, they‘re trained to kick your
legs from underneath you, and they‘re still a threat,‖ the officer said.

At one point on the video, Officer London is seen briefly walking away from Mr.
Harvin, who was handcuffed and lying down, but then quickly returning to deliver
more lashes with the baton.

Officer London said that as he had walked away, Mr. Harvin began screaming threats
again, and he was worried that Mr. Harvin was trying to draw a crowd, which would have
made the situation more dangerous.

Nonetheless, Officer London said, the arrest was routine.

Mr. Drucker, the assistant district attorney, seemed to snicker at the assertion.

―You don‘t think hitting a person more than 20 times with a baton makes this more
than routine?‖ he asked.

―Sir,‖ the officer responded, ―I was trying to get compliance.‖


       DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR RELATIVE IN THE
                      MILITARY?
Forward Military Resistance along, or send us the address if you wish and
we‘ll send it regularly. Whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or stuck on a base in
the USA, this is extra important for your service friend, too often cut off
from access to encouraging news of growing resistance to the wars, inside
the armed services and at home. Send email requests to address up top or
write to: The Military Resistance, Box 126, 2576 Broadway, New York, N.Y.
10025-5657. Phone: 888.711.2550


  POLITICIANS CAN‘T BE COUNTED ON TO HALT
               THE BLOODSHED
  THE TROOPS HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THE
                  WARS
Military Resistance distributes and posts to our website copyrighted material the use of which has not always been
specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance
understanding of the invasion and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We believe this constitutes a ―fair use‖ of any
such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law since it is being distributed without
charge or profit for educational purposes to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for educational purposes, in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Military Resistance has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these articles nor is Military Resistance endorsed or sponsored by
the originators. This attributed work is provided a non-profit basis to facilitate understanding, research,
education, and the advancement of human rights and social justice. Go to:
www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml for more information. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond ‗fair use‘, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


If printed out, a copy of this newsletter is your personal property and cannot
legally be confiscated from you. ―Possession of unauthorized material may not
be prohibited.‖ DoD Directive 1325.6 Section 3.5.1.2.

				
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